Dark Angel's rise to fame has been remarkable and Yeomanstown Stud's Group 1-winning son of Acclamation (by Royal Applause) is well-established as a leading European sire. His string of stakes winners in 2016 include a filly who is putting her unbeaten record on the line at Leopardstown during the opening day of the Longines Irish Champions Weekend.
Persuasive, one of a growing number of talented horses bred by John Tuthill of Owenstown Stud, made her first public appearance when taking her place as Lot 187 in the 2014 Goffs Orby Sale in Kill. She fetched €180,000 that day and was bought by Cheveley Park Stud.
The John Gosden-trained grey made her debut in a mile maiden on the polytrack at Kempton in November, making her yet another high-class graduate of the artificial surfaces. She was odds-on in a handicap at Goodwood in May, followed-up at Chelmsford 12 days later, and then extended her winning run to four in the Listed Sandringham Handicap on soft ground at Royal Ascot.
Two months later she made it five-from-five when beating Blond Me by three lengths in the Group 3 Redrock Entertainment Atalanta Stakes at Sandown. It was impressive and the runner-up there advertised the form when picking up a Group 2 contest in Turkey on Sunday.
It will be no easy task for her at Leopardstown as she is taking on the Group 1 stars Alice Springs, Jet Setting and Qemah, plus Group 2 scorers Devonshire and Hawksmoor and the talented duo Creggs Pipes and Now Or Never in the Group 1 Coolmore Fastnet Rock Matron Stakes.
A half-brother to the Ismail Mohammed-trained gelding Amazour (by Azamour), whose most recent of three wins came over six furlongs at Newcastle in late June, Persuasive is the second foal out of the high-class performer Choose Me (by Choisir), who was also bred by Owenstown Stud.
The mare's third foal, Tizbutadream (by Dream Ahead), finished out of the frame in a six-furlong maiden on soft ground at Newmarket in late June, she had an Iffraaj (by Zafonic) filly in 2015 and a first-crop Slade Power (by Dutch Art) colt in April.
Choose Me was trained by Kevin Prendergast and although she only won four of her 28 starts, those included the Listed Fairy Bridge Stakes over seven and a half furlongs at Tipperary and the valuable Tattersalls Ireland Sales Stakes over six at the Curragh, both in heavy ground.
She stayed 10 furlongs, won over that trip on fast ground at Naas and was multiple blacktype placed at that distance too, most notably when coming off worst in a three-way photo, with Eleanora Duse and She's Our Mark, for the Group 2 Blandford Stakes at the Curragh.
This record ranks her as the best of several winners out of one-time scorer Hecuba (by Hector Protector) and as that mare is, in turn, out of the Listed Sandy Lane Stakes third Ajuga (by The Minstrel), that makes her a half-sister to the German Group 2 scorer Bad Bertrich Again (by Dowsing), to Group 3 Scottish Classic winner Prolix (by Kris), to the talented dual-purpose gelding Bangalore (by Sanglamore) and also to Alumni.
That daughter of Selkirk (by Sharpen Up) got her only win in the Listed Cheshire Oaks but her star son is prolific, won a 10-furlong listed contest at Newbury, has useful mile form at Bratislava and in the Czech Republic, and also the speed to have won a valuable five-furlong handicap at Meydan.
Indeed, Dux Scholar (by Oasis Dream) is also pattern-placed over the minimum trip, he was only beaten by three and a quarter lengths when out of the frame in a Group 1 sprint two and a half years ago, and his string of pattern placings include races over seven, eight, nine and 10 furlongs, in England, France, Germany and Dubai.
A Rail Link (by Dansili) half-brother to Dux Scholar is catalogued as Lot 1211 in Book 2 of the Tattersalls October Yearling Sale in Newmarket, and Lot 434 of the Goffs Orby Sale is the Iffraaj half-sister to Persuasive.
The fourth dam of Persuasive is Cairn Rouge (by Pitcairn), the Group 1 Irish 1000 Guineas, Group 1 Champion Stakes and Group 2 Coronation Stakes heroine of 1980, rated 127 by Timeform. Her many notable descendants include US Grade 1 star Ventura (by Chester House), Group 1-placed pattern scorers Trade Fair (by Zafonic) and Silver Touch (by Dansili), and recent Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes and Group 3 Glorious Stakes winner Kings Fete (by King's Best).
Persuasive earned an official handicap mark of 112 after her latest success, so a lot more improvement is required if she is to be up to winning at the highest level, especially against a field like the one she will meet at Leopardstown. But she is talented and progressive and it would be no surprise to see her hit the top before long.
She also holds an entry in next month's Group 1 Kingdom Of Bahrain Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket and it would be fascinating to see how she might get on if staying in training as a four-year-old. It will also be very interesting to follow her eventual stud career as, with her pedigree connections, she could become a broodmare of considerable note some day.